NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year Two: Asteroid Diameters and Albedos [EPA]

The Near-Earth Object Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) mission continues to detect, track, and characterize minor planets. We present diameters and albedos calculated from observations taken during the second year since the spacecraft was reactivated in late 2013. These include 207 near-Earth asteroids and 8,885 other asteroids. $84\%$ of the near-Earth asteroids did not have previously measured diameters and albedos by the NEOWISE mission. Comparison of sizes and albedos calculated from NEOWISE measurements with those measured by occultations, spacecraft, and radar-derived shapes shows accuracy consistent with previous NEOWISE publications. Diameters and albedos fall within $ \pm \sim20\%$ and $\pm\sim40\%$, 1-sigma, respectively, of those measured by these alternate techniques. NEOWISE continues to preferentially discover near-Earth objects which are large ($>100$ m), and have low albedos.

Read this paper on arXiv…

C. Nugent, A. Mainzer, J. Bauer, et. al.
Thu, 30 Jun 16

Comments: Accepted to AJ